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||dear nicey & all at ncotaasd,|
i was confused by what you said about snowballs having a biscuit base. i'm not sure what happens south of the border, but up here in sunny aberdeen our snowballs are most definately cake-like. they are sponge, filled with jam (of varying quality) and covered in coconut. is this some sort of sassenach meddling with a scottish baking institution?! i feel some sort of braveheart inspired pun would be appropriate here and yet words fails me.
anyhooooo, love the site!
ps any chance you might make a st andrew's flag icon?!
|Nicey replies: Looks like you are right to be confused, I'm talking about the ones like a naked teacake covered in coconut. Perhaps somebody else can come up with a pun as I can't think of one either, but then it is quite late.
As for flags, as I have said before we have one for Canada because its ironic. As for anybody else, no sorry or they'll all be wanting one, I've had to turn down the Welsh for example on a number of occasions. If I had to choose an icon for Scotland I might base it on the swarm of Midges that attacked me at half past four in the morning on Rannoch Moor in 1978, as we tried to make a get away without them noticing we were up. Obviously that would be a bit too borne out of personal experience and it would just look like black dots.
||The following incident involves incompetence on the part of both man and machine.|
A number of years ago a colleague selected his free beverage (white "tea", two "sugars" I believe. Actually I think it was genuine sugar.)
The customary Tardis sounds were forthcoming but no cup. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the "drink" which started to dribble into the drip-tray. Game over, you might think.
Far from it. Our hapless hero decides that all might not be lost, and cups his unprotected hands beneath the nozzle. The dispensing action is over, and our man is standing there with the look of a slip fielder who has just taken a tricky chance. There is a pause, a scream and the alleged tea is on the floor. Would-be drinker is staring at his glowing hands in disbelief.
The question on most of the spectators' lips in the aftermath was: "What exactly was he planning to do with the tea after catching it? Take it to the burns unit, in case they needed to see the liquid responsible?"
I was forced to point out that no-one in the history of humanity has boiled a kettle, then poured the water into their hands due to cup-shortage. It is, in fact physically impossible, unless someone else does the pouring.
A water-tight case for the prosecution against the villainy of drink vending machines, and a headache for the Health & Safety Executive.
||Just to add some officialese to the "cake or biscuit" query from Sue Resner, Snowballs, Teacakes and Coconut Mallows are legally defined as cakes and not biscuits at all. This means they are zero-rated for VAT, along with our old friend the Jaffa Cake. As you've observed, the clue is in the name. Well it is for Teacakes anyway.|
Re. 'No matter how much stuff you heap upon it if there is a biscuit inside then it doesn't transmogrify into a cake.'
What about cheesecake? It's stuffed with biscuits (although disappointingly little cheese). Bit of a mystery that one.
Should we call it non-cheese-biscuit instead?
|Nicey replies: Gavin,
You know as well as me that cheesecake bases are made from smashed up biscuits mixed with butter. This makes them some sort of derivative thing. If it were one enormous digestive baked and then decorated then I would say that there is a very good case for it being seen as a huge biscuit.
Of course our modern idea of cheese cake comes from eastern european migrant Jews whose delicatessen shops gave us the New York Cheesecake, which is based on soft cheeses. However cheesecakes in one form or another date way back before roman times in fact to our earliest agricultural leanings and back then anything culinary that was made into a big lump was called a cake. Biscuits as we know them of course were only really invented in the 19th century.
||My friend and I have been sitting discussing the difference between cakes and biscuits, at much length (because were both on diets!)|
Can you tell us if a "Snowball" is a cake or a biscuit...?
Sue & Claire
|Nicey replies: Well it has a biscuit base with elaborate decoration so I would always say that it is a biscuit. I know its tempting to drag in the 'TeaCake' which is of course similar and point to the 'Cake' in its name, but they to are elaborate biscuits. No matter how much stuff you heap upon it if there is a biscuit inside then it doesn't transmogrify into a cake.|